Nurturing young children to be guardians of nature using picturebooks.

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Authors
Kelly-Ware, Janette
Fernando, Chedly
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Date
2023-06-22
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Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
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Early childhood education
Picture books
Education - New Zealand
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Kelly-Ware, J., & Fernando, C. (2023, June 22). Nurturing young children to be guardians of nature using picturebooks [Conference presentation]. 9th International Art in Early Childhood Conference: Nature & Nurture, University of Exeter, Exeter, United Kingdom.
Abstract
‘Kaitiakitanga’ an indigenous concept about respecting and appreciating the natural environment is emphasised in Te Whāriki, the Aotearoa New Zealand early childhood education curriculum (Ministry of Education, 2017). Teachers are expected to encourage children to be ‘kaitiaki’ (guardians) through “...regular opportunities to connect with the wider natural environment and with materials drawn from nature” (p.50). These early learning experiences in nature can be supported and reinforced using picturebooks which can act as mirrors and windows on the world. As mirrors they can reflect children’s own lives, and as windows they can give children a chance to learn about the lives of others including non-human others. The illustrations in quality children’s picturebooks can be mirrors and windows showing that art can be used as a dialogue. Chedly’s postgraduate research that Janette supervised focused on analysing recently published picturebooks that promote sustainability and kaitiakitanga, and surveying teachers about their responses to the selected books.
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